The penultimate day aboard National Geographic Sea Bird and its culinary immersive exploration of the Columbia and Snake Rivers featured play and wonder along the Palouse River. A brisk morning ride in a trio of rigid inflatable watercraft across the Snake River to Lyons Ferry State Park served as a gateway to 200-foot Palouse Falls and upriver tours of the Palouse River. Naturalists introduced guests to the Channeled Scablands, historic Marmes Rockshelter, nesting raptors, canyon wren, and a colony of American white pelicans sporting their caruncles. As luck would have it, the 20-mph morning winds died down, enticing intrepid kayakers to ply the waters of Marmes Pond.

After emerging from lock at Little Goose Dam, Mississippi-reared executive chef Eddie McField Jr. added yet another chapter to his delectable array of Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine. Among the entrées was the Olsen Vineyard Chardonnay-Poached Wild Caught Pacific Sablefish, presented on a purée of black lentils grown in the nearby Palouse. The dish elevated the Dusted Valley Vintners 2021 Olsen Vineyard Chardonnay from Washington’s Yakima Valley.

Evening education featured an entertaining presentation titled “Birds of the Columbia River” by cultural specialist Kyle Bowman.